2019 MAALL Annual Meeting Keynote Speaker: Judge Susan Block

Susan Block returned to the practice of law, as a lawyer with Paule Camazine & Blumenthal, after retiring as a Circuit Judge in 2004, with 25 years of judicial service. In her last judicial assignment she was appointed to serve as the Administrative Judge of the Family Court with the authority to manage the policies and practices of this division, while maintaining a full caseload of abuse, neglect, delinquency and adoption matters. Recipient of the Andrew Jackson Higgins Award for Excellence in Juvenile Justice, her work in the area of family law and child advocacy has been recognized locally and internationally. Currently she focuses her practice in family law matters, including divorce, modifications, juvenile, guardianships, school law, juvenile law, adoptions, paternity matters, grandparents’ visitation requests, and domestic partnership conflicts.

The unique combination of having been on both sides of the bench makes Judge Block an invaluable resource to her clients and her colleagues. Since becoming an active trial lawyer, she has quickly built a reputation as a compassionate and zealous advocate for her clients, taking on the most complex cases and thinking “out of the box” for creative solutions and impressive results.

Judge Block has received numerous local awards for her work in child advocacy, prevention of domestic violence, and innovative programming for the Family Court. They include the St. Louis Bar Foundation Award, Missouri Coalition for Domestic Violence-St. Louis Region Person of the Year Award, Public Citizen of the Year award given by the National Association of Social Workers Missouri Chapter, Metropolitan St. Louis YWCA Racial Justice Award, CASA Community Award, World of Children Award, National Council of Jewish Women-St. Louis Section Founder’s Award and was honored by the Missouri Supreme Court for her outstanding service to the St. Louis County Circuit Court.

An innovator and visionary, she was a founding member of the Washington University Project for Children and Youth, 2002-2005, and served on the first Board of Directors for the National Truancy Prevention Association and Lawyers for Equality. Judge Block was appointed by the Missouri Supreme Court to its Committee on Racial and Ethnic Fairness, juvenile sub-committee, with a special focus on referrals to the court and alternative to detention and commitments to the Department of Youth Services.

Well published, Judge Block authors the “Bench to Bar” monthly column for the St. Louis Lawyer magazine published by the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis. Recently, she co-authored “Grandparent Visitation Rights: History, Constitutionality, and Practice,” in the April 2009 St. Louis Bar Journal. Following her presentation at the First International Conference on Domestic Violence in Rome, Italy, she wrote “Domestic Violence: A Problem Concealed. A Civil Response to Domestic Violence in the United States,” California Western School of Law, Journal of Law, 1997. She has been a contributing writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on family law issues from 1997-2003, authoring “In Search of Safety Coordination Efforts.”

Most recently Block was selected to be inducted into the Fleur de Lis Hall of Fame of St. Louis University Law School for her contributions to the community.

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